Toyota launched its compact pickup truck under the name Toyota Tacoma in 1995. There have been two generations of the Tacoma launched since its first appearance in 1995. The vehicle is named after a city Tacoma, in Washington, United States. The second-generation Tacoma received 2005 Truck of the Year award by Motor Trend Magazine.
First Generation (1994-2004)
The first generation Tacoma replaced the Hilux in the US market with its introduction 1995. A side by side review of both vehicles shows that the greater emphasis is given to improve the ride quality, handling, comfort, and safety over ruggedness and payload capacity in Tacoma than in Hilux. A special emphasis is also given to its design so as to make it completely comply with the US and Canadian pickup truck market because these markets are known for utilizing the compact and mid-sized models as personal vehicles rather than for commercial, agricultural and other off road usage.
Toyota Tacoma is offered with three different engine variants including: the 2.4-L 4-cylinder producing 142 hp (106 kW) and torque of 160 lb-ft (220 Nm), the 2.7-L 4-cylinder producing 150 hp (112 kW) and torque of 177 lb-ft (240 Nm), and the 3.4-L V6 engine producing 190 hp (142 kW) and torque of 220 lb-ft (300 Nm). As of mileage, the 2.4-L models delivered an impressive 29 miles per US gallon (8.1 L/100 km; 35 mpg-imp) on highway; the 2.7-L models delivered 26 miles per US gallon (9.0 L/100 km; 31 mpg-imp) on highway; and the 3.4-L gave 22 miles per US gallon (11 L/100 km; 26 mpg-imp) on highway.
Both automatic and manual transmission was offered. The two-wheel drive versions received 5-stud wheel lug patterns, while the four-wheel drive versions came with 6-stud wheel lug patterns.
Second Generation (2005-Present)
Toyota revealed its new even more bigger and more powerful Tacoma at the Chicago Auto Show in 2004. Eighteen different configurations were offered for this new generation Tacoma. The different configurations were three cab configurations, four transmissions, two engines and two bed lengths. As of three cabs, it comprises of regular cab, access cab and crew cab. The four transmissions include 4-speed automatic, 5-speed automatic, 5-speed manual and 6-speed manual. The two beds include a 6 feet (1.8 m) long bed and 5 feet (1.5 m) short bed. In the new model, the original 3.4-L V6 engine was replaced by 4.0-L 1Gr-FE V6 engine. The new engine came with performance enhancements like a new 6500 pound tow rating and increased payload capacity of 1650 lbs. The engine can generate 236 hp (176 kW) and torque of 266 lb-ft. The less expensive models come with 2.7-L 2TR-FE 4-cylinder engine generating 159 hp (119 kW) and torque of 180 lb-ft (240 Nm).
The previous S-Runner trim was replaced by the new X-Runner trim because of the fact that S-Runner failed to bring good sales. The X-Runner comes with 1GR-FE mated to 6-speed manual transmission. Other features include 18-inch alloy wheels and the vehicle is lowered by two inches. The X-Brace suspension package was also added. A Down-Hill Assist Control (DAC) and a Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) are also offered as an option in new generation models already equipped with Toyota Racing Department’s Off-Road package. Other optional features include a rear locking differential or limited slip differential.